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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Lasagna for my pan

Everyone has lasagna recipes, and mine is adapted for an especially large pan so I won't replicate it here. But I will mention a few elements to my lasagna.

I read a great idea on the back of the pasta box. Instead of cooking all the noodles at once and then keeping them in icewater, just boil the few that you need a layer at a time -- in most cases, four noodles (six for me). Just boil for four minutes, since baking will soften the noodles further.

I've mentioned how much I love fontina cheese. I use a lot of fontina in place of mozzarella just for variety's sake. But I do like to put a layer of sliced fresh mozzarella on the top.

I also like to mix herbs (tarragon and today, some purple basil) into the ricotta mix. The flavors of the herbs come out more brightly than if they're muddled in the tomato sauce.

Apparently it is more traditional to use a bechamel sauce instead of the ricotta mix. Maybe this is a regional difference, I don't know. I suspect the ricotta instead of bechamel came about in the cheese-lovin' USA. So it's appropriate that I make this lasagna on Columbus Day. Someday I'll try a bechamel lasagna. No comment on the other American tradition of using cottage cheese.

I know I promised pad thai, but I couldn't find the issue of Saveur. I'll try to get it during tomorrow's naptime. Meanwhile, we are reaping the excesses of the weekend. We have friends with a son nine months older than Jasper and we swap babysitting -- we watch their son while they go out and they watch Jasper while we go out. It works out great because the boys get to play and the sitting is free. I think Jasper got really wound up with all the fun, though. And then Sunday night we went to that dinner party and he fell asleep on the cab ride home at a shocking 11:30! Alas, tonight he didn't fall asleep until nearly midnight. But it was all worth it. The dinner party was fun and on our night out Lane and I went to Applewood, which had yummy food. AND we got to spend some time alone talking about adult things like the end of the American empire.

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